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Skin Tag Removal

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What is Skin Tag Removal?

A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon or a fibroepithelial polyp, is a benign skin growth that protrudes from the skin, typically on a thin stalk. It’s noncancerous, comprised of normal skin tissue and fat, and can occur in places where skin rubs against skin—such as on the eyelids, under the neck, or in the armpits. In women, the tags are also common around the vulva and vagina and under the breasts.

Genetics plays a role in the development of skin tags, so you may be more likely to get them if one of your parents has them. They’re also linked to medical conditions such as obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, and HPV (according to a 2008 study).

Skin tags can sometimes be confused for moles and warts. (However, they’re not interchangeable and need to be treated differently.) The most obvious identifying factor of a skin tag is the peduncle, a small stalk that connects the tag to your body.

They can be annoying, but tags don’t typically pose any harm or danger to you or your skin. The exception is when they’re in an area of the body that gets a lot of friction, where they can become irritated and painful when they rub against clothing or jewelry.

Patient's Story

"My before photo was March 2020 and the after photo is 11/25/20. I’ve had Botox done 3 times so far and my deep 11 line is gone!!! That was my worst wrinkle and the doctor said Botox would fix me. I thought I was going to need filler for it. Very happy I look less angry lol!"

Real Skin Tag Removal Patient

Frequently Asked Questions

Pros

  • In most cases, skin tag removal is an affordable skin-care procedure.
  • It takes a matter of minutes (if not seconds) and can often be tacked on to other in-office procedures.
  • A board-certified provider can help differentiate between a skin tag and something more nefarious, like skin cancer.

Cons

  • The procedure can leave a small scar or cause hyperpigmentation, especially if you have olive or brown skin.
  • There’s a possibility of side effects like bleeding and infection.
  • Health insurance plans don’t usually cover skin tag removal unless there’s a medical reason for it, though it depends on your specific plan’s coverage and deductible.

It’s tempting to try to remove skin tags at home—and the Internet offers a wide range of DIY skin tag removal tricks—but it’s not worth risking the trauma to your skin. Removing them yourself can cause bleeding, scarring, and even infection, potentially causing problems that are much more concerning than the skin tags themselves. Plus skin tags can be confused for other skin conditions, like seborrheic keratosis.

There’s a lot of advice online about home remedies for skin tags, and much of it isn’t correct. Let’s debunk. 

  • You can’t use wart remover to freeze off a skin tag. Wart remover is designed to treat hard, tougher skin, and it could lead to scarring when used on the softer tags. 
  • Tea tree oil is also not a good removal option. In high concentrations, it could cause irritation or an allergic reaction, especially if used around the eye area.
  • So far, there’s no evidence that apple cider vinegar removes skin tags. Since it could lead to pigmentation changes, scarring, or even chemical burns, be cautious if you decide to try it. 
  • If the growth is very small, you may be able to remove the skin tag with dental floss by wrapping it around the tag and cutting off its blood flow, but it’s best for an expert to give you the green light. Doing this on a larger tag can cause bleeding.
  • You can find skin tag removal patches at drugstores and online; they typically use ingredients such as salicylic acid to remove layers of the skin tag. So far, there’s no medical evidence that they work. 
  • Other intensive methods of exfoliation, such as chemical peels and dermabrasion, will not shrink or remove tags. They’re more likely to irritate the tag and the surrounding skin.

In most cases, your best bet is to see a board-certified dermatologist, especially to remove skin tags on sensitive areas, like the eyelids.

After your dermatologist burns, freezes, or cuts off the skin tag in question, it’ll scab over. We encourage patients to keep the area clean with mild soap and water and then apply either Vaseline or a moisturizing cream. You can then apply makeup over it, if you want to disguise the area.

Don’t pick at the scab—it protects the wound while healing and minimizes the chances of scarring. 

The scab will flake off on its own once healing is complete, usually within 10 to 14 days.